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VETASSESS clarifies process changes for professionals emigrating to Australia

by Lauren 29/10/2009 14:15:00

Further clarification has been given on the
updates coming to the VETASSESS
assessment process in 2010.

Following on from yesterday's blog, we received further news today on the VETASSESS changes set to come into action from January 1, 2010. If you are a professional looking to emigrate to Australia, it's vital that you keep aware of this information.

See below for some of the key points we've received in direct correspondence from VETASSESS, as well as our comments.

"EXPIRY DATE FOR SKILLS ASSESSMENT

All Skills Assessments issued under the new arrangements will have a validity period of two years.  The expiry date will be twenty four months from the date of issue of the original Skills Assessment."

What this means is that, as hinted at in the initial announcement, skills assessments will now have an expiry date. They will no longer be accepted as sufficient evidence of an Australia visa applicant's skills once 24 months have passed since the positive assessment's date of issue.

"TRANSITION ARRANGEMENTS

All new applications received from January 2010 will be assessed under the new process.  VETASSESS recommends that applicants who apply in 2009 should submit all relevant documents and payment by 18 December 2009 to ensure that their application is assessed under the current system.  Otherwise, the new criteria may apply.  For applications received by VETASSESS in 2009, DIAC has allowed a three-month grace period from January to March 2010 for VETASSESS to finalise its pipeline cases for the general occupations.  However, no applications under the old process will be accepted in 2010.

 DIAC has advised assessing authorities that they will introduce ANZSCO to the skilled migration program later in 2010.  ETASSESS will consult with DIAC about the transition arrangements from ASCO to ANZSCO."

By 'pipeline cases', VETASSESS means all cases which have been lodged but not resolved by January 1, 2010. These cases will be given until March to be finalised, so should VETASSESS request additional information, applicants emigrating to Australia will still have a window in which to submit this.

The second piece of information relates to the MODL review which is yet to be fully revealed by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC), part of which is the switch from the Australian Standard Classification of Occupations (ASCO) to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO).

Few timeframe details have been released regarding when this switch will happen, but it is interesting that VETASSESS state that this will happen 'later in 2010'; it remains to be seen whether by this they mean 'in the latter half of 2010' or simply 'after 1 January'.

"OCCUPATIONAL PROFILES

VETASSESS has developed lists of relevant fields of study and relevant tasks for its general occupations. It is in the process of contacting relevant industry and professional bodies for feedback on those occupational profiles.

A range of resources were used to develop these occupational profiles including the Department of Immigration and Citizenship’s Australian Skills Recognition Information (ASRI) website; the Australian Bureau of Statistics websites for ASCO and ASCED (the Australian Standard Classification of Education); the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations website for Job Guide; the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) website sponsored by the US Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration; and education provider websites."

What this means is that VETASSESS has consulted a number of different official sources to qualify what will and won't be defined as 'relevant' (i.e. what is a 'highly relevant field of study' or 'relevant employment' to a specific nominated occupation).  Unfortunately, we still don't know whether or not they will be transparent in this process and make it clear to applicants emigrating to Australia what is and isn't relevant.

"TECHNICAL INTERVIEWS

Under the new arrangements, as part of the assessment process, VETASSESS will telephone some applicants to clarify information in the application, and to discuss the applicant’s occupational skills. No additional charge will apply for a technical interview."

While VETASSESS have not given any further details on this, the indication seems to be that applicants emigrating to Australia should be prepared to complete a telephone interview as part of the new assessment process.

"FEES AND APPLICATION FORMS

New fees will apply to applications for a skills assessment under the new process. The new fee schedule will be available on our website from 11 November 2009.  The new application forms will be on our website in December."

I think this is self-explanatory, as it indicates that necessary updates will be made to the application forms and fees. Unfortunately, no further details have been given regarding what the new fees will be.

I'll keep reporting on this issue as we get more updates in, but the message remains the same; stay calm but if you are able to, lodge your assessment with VETASSESS ASAP.

- Lauren Mennie is Casework Department Manager for the Australian Visa Bureau

Visa Bureau takes no responsibility and cannot be held accountable for action taken as a result of any information or comment provided on this blog, and we recommend that you always seek a number of opinions before making a decision regarding your migration or visa application. Please refer to the Visa Bureau terms of use for more information.

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